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Teen column, Alexis Aaby: Lessons learned from graduation

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So, as you may know, since starting as a columnist this fall, I have not written a single column purely about myself. As my graduation ceremony was on June 10, and I am writing this the day after my graduation party, I thought that I might take this one month to center my publishings around my own experiences. Who knows, by the end of this article, it might cycle around to being about helping the reader again.

My last name starts with two A’s, so you may have guessed I’m at the beginning of pretty much every list, since a good percentage of them are created alphabetically by last name. Yay, me. So, I was one of the two students to lead the rest of my grade at our graduation ceremony. As someone prone to panic attacks since the sixth grade, I approached the task with some dread, but it actually was not as bad as I thought it would be.

If any of you is stressing about leading your class in for graduation, please don’t. It isn’t nearly as painful as you think.

I think this year was just a strike-out for weather around graduation season. It was deathly hot right before the two-week time period started. It was raining all afternoon on the most popular day for graduation parties (June 9), and it was almost 100 degrees when I had my party. Not a good thing when my party was a dessert one and half the food was coated in chocolate. Everything was melting, including the hot glue on my homemade table centerpieces.

When I started planning my grad party, I really had no idea how stressful it would be.


Two months ago it seemed we were ahead of the schedule, already shopping at Hobby Lobby and getting a bunch of projects done. The day of my graduation party, when I was sprinting from place to place around my house and breaking down in tears from the stress, it seemed like we were so far behind we would never catch up.

Lesson learned: When I’m a parent, I’m giving my child the option between having a stressful (albeit fun) event with more than 100 people and just taking a family vacation, like one of my friends did.

Don’t think I’m trying to turn anyone off from graduation parties. If you don’t try to make all of the banners and wall decorations yourself the week of the party, it probably won’t be that bad. Just make sure to get as much done as possible ahead of time. Recruit as many family members and friends as you can. And take deep breaths (and maybe a couple of Tylenol). Also, try not to freak out and step on your mom’s foot with your heel or slam her hand in the door. Whoops.

Life is a constant cycle of learning what not to do by doing exactly that.

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